The Attorney General of Maryland has proposed extending a moratorium on evictions and debt collection actions through Jan. 31, 2021.
The moratorium, which ended July 25, prohibited debt collection cases in state courts. The extension of the moratorium would provide the government of the state with enough time to sign “emergency legislation to assist Marylanders with the housing and debt crises they currently face,” wrote Attorney General Brian Frosh in a letter to the Chief Judges for the Maryland Court of Appeals and the District Court of Maryland. The letter was sent by Frosh on behalf of the state’s COVID-19 Access to Justice Task Force.
“If eviction and debt collection proceedings are allowed to move forward, many Maryland families will be forced out of their homes, with no place to go and no income to obtain new housing,” Frosh said in a statement.
A number of states have begun to end moratoriums that were put into place to protect individuals during the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic which shut down most of the country. The concern was that individuals did not have the financial capability to pay off their debts because so many people lost their jobs, and that courthouses and other public places were not safe to hold hearings.
Extending the moratorium is necessary, Frosh said, because “the ongoing public health emergency has rendered Marylanders’ inability to pay rent and consumer debt largely unchanged since the onset of the pandemic. Many Marylanders were struggling to pay housing and other expenses before the COVID-19 crisis, and the pandemic has exacerbated these difficulties exponentially.”